23,902 research outputs found

    Pseudo-Dionysius 'Art of Rhetoric' 8-11: Figured speech, declamation, and criticism

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    This paper considers the date and authorship of chapters 8-11 of the "Art of Rhetoric", falsely attributed to Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Analysis of the two chapters on "figured speech" suggests that chapter 9 is an unfinished attempt by the author of chapter 8 to rework the material into a more radical (but, in fact, conceptually flawed) refutation of those who rejected the concept. Distinctive common features indicate the chapters 10-11, on declamation and criticism are by the same author. The texts probably date to the early second century A.D.; the author was perhaps the Aelius Serapion attested in the "Suda"

    Porphyry's rhetoric

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    This paper provides an introductory survey of the evidence for Porphyry’s writings on rhetoric and a discussion of their context and influence, together with a detailed commentary on the testimonia and fragments. In paying tribute to Porphyry as polymath, Eunapius expresses uncertainty whether his most significant contribution was to rhetoric, literary studies, arithmetic, geometry, music or the various branches of philosophy (Lives of the Sophists 4.2.2-3 = 9.11-19 Giangrande). The aporia is a rhetorical figure (it is no coincidence that philosophy holds the final, climactic place), but we should not discount the initial claim that Porphyry was a major contributor to rhetoric, although that is not a perspective on Porphyry that will occur readily to modern scholars. Smith’s survey of recent work registers no interest at all in Porphyry as a rhetorician, and his Teubner edition of the fragments omits the majority of the rhetorical fragments, and all of the most substantial ones. The present paper aims to provide an introduction to this aspect of Porphyry’s work (§1-§4), together with a catalogue of the available evidence and a commentary on it (§5). This will, I hope, assist towards a better understanding of the history of rhetoric in the third century, and its place in the intellectual culture of the time

    Euripides’ Telephus

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    This paper offers a hypothetical reconstruction of Euripides' lost Telephus, burlesqued in Aristophanes' Acharnians and Thesmophoriazusae. It defends the position that Telephus defended the Trojans, and suggests that Telephus made two defence speeches: one in defence of the Trojans, another in defence of Telephus himself. Whom did Telephus defend in Telephus? We know that he defended himself; fr. 710 proves that. It is widely, and I believe rightly, held that he defended the Trojans also; but this has been denied by some scholars, most recently by David Sansone in an article on the date of Herodotus’ publication. In the first part of this paper I shall comment on Sansone’s arguments and offer a defence of the conventional view; I shall then make some rather speculative suggestions concerning the reconstruction of the pla

    Porphyry's rhetoric: text and translation

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    This paper provides a working text and translation of the testimonia and fragments relevant to Porphyry’s contributions to rhetorical theory. This paper collects, in Greek and in English translation, the testimonia and fragments relevant to Porphyry’s contributions to rhetorical theory. It may be viewed as a supplement to Smith’s edition of the fragments (1993), which is very selective in its coverage of the rhetorical fragments. It is also intended to complement the study of Porphyry’s rhetoric in Heath (2003a), which provides an introduction to and detailed commentary on the material assembled here, but which (for reasons of space) could not include a text or translation. The testimonia and fragments vary considerably in the directness of the evidence they provide for Porphyry’s work. In one case we have an extensive extract from Porphyry’s own theoretical writings (F7); in most others we have brief reports of or allusions to his theories in the words of others. In some cases there is doubt about the full extent of Porphyry’s contribution. It is impossible to determine how much of Porphyry there is in the multiply sourced F15, and the suspicion that he has contributed more to F9 than the author’s fleeting acknowledgement suggests cannot be proven. On the other hand, Porphyry is identified as a source of F2, which does not name him, by a convincing inference. This paper offers a working, rather than a properly critical, text. I have not undertaken any new work on the manuscripts; nor do I reproduce the information given in the apparatus to standard editions. In the case of extracts from volume 4 of Walz’s Rhetores Graeci I have selectively reported the collations of Py published by Kowalski (1940-6, 1947). Suggested improvements to the text in extracts from this and other volumes of Walz not otherwise attributed are (to the best of my knowledge) my own; but for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who has used them, I have not thought it feasible to try to cure all the problems posed by these badly transmitted and badly edited texts. Walz’s erratic punctuation has been subjected to extensive tacit revision. In F15 I have placed parallel passages from other sources in a separate column to the right of the Greek text, to facilitate close comparison; in each case the source (usually the Anonymus Seguerianus) is identified at the end of the relevant extract. The notes to the translation provide a very limited amount of explanatory comment on the content of the fragments. Readers should consult the article cited above for more detailed discussion of the rhetorical theory which they embody, and their place in Porphyry’s writings on rhetoric

    Political Comedy in Aristophanes

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    This paper argues that Aristophanic comedy, although it takes contemporary political life as its point of departure, is not political in the sense of aiming to influence politics outside the theatre. Brief discussions of Clouds, Knights, Lysistrata and Acharnians are used to cast initial doubt on interpretations that attribute serious intent to Aristophanes. It is then argued that Aristophanes’ treatment of the poet’s role as adviser, abuse of the audience and of individuals, the themes of rich and poor and the power of the dêmos, support this conclusion. In general, the assumptions of Aristophanes’ comedy are too closely attuned to those of the majority of his audience to warrant inferences about Aristophanes’ own political attitudes. This conclusion throws light on the democracy’s exercise of control over the theatre. An appendix argues that the main unifying element in Aristophanic comedy is not theme, but plot, and that Aristophanes took more care over coherence of plot-structure than is sometimes recognised

    Aristotle on natural slavery

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    Aristotle's claim that natural slaves do not possess autonomous rationality (Pol. 1.5, 1254b20-23) cannot plausibly be interpreted in an unrestricted sense, since this would conflict with what Aristotle knew about non-Greek societies. Aristotle's argument requires only a lack of autonomous practical rationality. An impairment of the capacity for integrated practical deliberation, resulting from an environmentally induced excess or deficiency in thumos (Pol. 7.7, 1327b18-31), would be sufficient to make natural slaves incapable of eudaimonia without being obtrusively implausible relative to what Aristotle is likely to have believed about non-Greeks. Since Aristotle seems to have believed that the existence of people who can be enslaved without injustice is a hypothetical necessity, if those capable of eudaimonia are to achieve it, the existence of natural slaves has implications for our understanding of Aristotle's natural teleology

    Thucydides 1.23.5-6

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    Justice in Thucydides’ Athenian speeches

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    Speakers in Thucydides sometimes dismiss considerations of justice as irrelevant to decision-making in questions of international relations. It is argued that this line of argument is a distinctive characteristic of Thucydides’ Athenian speakers; and evidence from Athenian political oratory in the fourth and (so far as it is recoverable) late fifth centuries suggest that it is unlikely to have been characteristic in reality of Athenian speakers in the late fifth century. This conclusion poses a problem concerning Thucydides’ practice in his speeches to which there is no evident solution

    Longinus On Sublimity

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    The traditional attribution of On Sublimity to the third-century critic Cassius Longinus has been rejected by most scholars since the early nineteenth century. The arguments against a third-century date are examined and shown to be unfounded. It is argued that the interest in sublimity and a number of aspects of the treatise’s vocabulary show distinctive points of contact with the evidence for Cassius Longinus, and with authors influenced by him. There is therefore a balance of probability in favour of the traditional attribution
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